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Utah teen pens jingle for vacuum cleaner

By Matthew K. Jensen

The Herald Journal

Published: Friday, April 6 2012 10:50 p.m. MDT

Nathan Bringhurst, 19, received a Windsor vacuum from the company in Logan for his lyrics to their first theme song.

Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

LOGAN (AP) — "The Windsor's blue and white, the Windsor's out of sight, it might start a fight, we're all gonna use it right."

Lyrics to the first-ever theme song for a Windsor vacuum are credited to 19-year-old Nathan Bringhurst of Nibley.

His love for the professional-grade uprights began at age 3 after he heard one of the vacuums humming through the halls of his preschool in River Heights.

At first the sound was frightening to Nathan, but it quickly became music to his ears.

Bringhurst has Williams syndrome — a rare genetic disorder with a range of symptoms that include cardiovascular anomalies, a lack of social inhibition and an uncommonly cheerful demeanor. A shared symptom in many with Williams syndrome is hyperacusis, or an over-sensitivity to certain sound frequencies.

The tone from the Windsor, his mother says, hits a sweet spot in her son.

"When he was in preschool and heard the janitor vacuuming, it kind of freaked him out," said his mom, Kerry Bringhurst. "People with Williams syndrome often have hyperacusis, meaning they're extra sensitive to loud noises."

To alleviate the anxiety caused by the vacuum, staff at the school encouraged Nathan to try it out and see for himself the vacuum was nothing to fear.

"From there it turned into an obsession for him," said his father, Boyd. "And he's loved them ever since."

Nathan even posed for a photograph, sitting on the lap of the school custodian, Mary, with the Windsor vacuum. He still carries the snapshot of the three everywhere he goes.

Last year, in a twist of fate, Nathan stumbled onto the same blue and white vacuum he enjoyed so much in his childhood. While helping clean his former preschool during a service project, he found the old Windsor vacuum, complete with its River Heights Elementary sticker and faded plastic housing.

He asked how he could get the machine to his current post-high school, also in River Heights, and even offered to pay for the 15-year-old vacuum himself. His teachers agreed to transfer the cleaner to his new school and in a special ceremony, Nathan unveiled the cleaner to his classmates.

"He and the vacuum started out at that school, and now they're back there again," his mom said.

When the day came to show off the dusty old Windsor to his classmates, Nathan set the stage with a song. He wrote the tune with help from local musician Marianne Sidwell, who is working to develop a program that matches artists and musicians with persons with disabilities. Like most with Williams syndrome, Nathan has an unusual affinity for music.

"He loves music, and we talk about songs all the time," Sidwell said. "When I asked him if he wanted to make a song he jumped at the chance."

Guy was so impressed with Nathan's love for vacuums she decided to contact the Windsor company in Denver, Colo. A regional executive for the world's biggest commercial vacuum maker came to Logan on March 23 to personally present a brand new Windsor Versamatic to an ecstatic Nathan.

"We sent him a shirt and a hat, and when we heard how old the vacuum was we decided to get him a new one," said Mark Meents of Windsor. "Anyone that fanatic about a vacuum cleaner — we need to do something for him."

Nathan was at school when he learned he would get the shiny new cleaner. His teacher, Lauren Leatham, said he jumped up and down with excitement for nearly a minute after hearing the news.

"When he finds something he enjoys, every day is a best day for him," Leatham said. "He told me (March 23) would be the best day of his life. And I've heard that probably 10 or 20 times this year."

Nathan broke in the new Windsor immediately, vacuuming a rug outside his mother's workplace. He said he couldn't wait to get it home.

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